Upma Kozhakattai

Upma Kozhukkati also known as pidi kozhakattai is a south Indian dumpling made with rice and coconut. It is a healthy vegan lunch or dinner option as it contains very little oil and is steam cooked. It is quite popular in south India although not highly rated like dosas or idlis. The steps may seem laborious, but its a simple process and wont take more than 40 minutes from start to finish. It tastes absolutely divine paired with sambar or tomato chutney.

upma kozhakattai

Wash and clean rice. Spread wet rice on a paper towel.

upma kozhakattai

After 20 minutes of drying, grind the rice to a coarse consistency in a food processor. This is called rice rava.

upma kozhakattai

Temper spices in hot oil. Add water and bring it to a boil.

upma kozhakattai

Add grated coconut and rice rava.

upma kozhakktai

Keep stirring till rice is completely cooked and all the water is absorbed.

upma kozhakattai

Spread the rice upma on a plate and let it cool for 5 minutes.

upma kozhakkatai

Make medium sized balls out of upma and place them in a steam bowl or idli plate.

upma kozhakattai

Steam cook the dumplings for 10 minutes and serve hot with chutney.

upma kozhakattai


1 cup rice

2 cups water

4 tablespoons grated coconut

1 teaspoon oil ( I used coconut oil)

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon Bengal gram/channa dal

5 curry leaves

2 dry red chilies

1 green chili

1/2 teaspoon asafetida powder


1. Wash and clean rice. Spread the wet rice on a paper towel and let it dry for 20 minutes.

2. Grind the dried rice to a coarse consistency. Couple of minutes in a food processor should give you the right consistency.

3. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds when oil is hot. Fry for 30 seconds.

4. Add Bengal gram/channa dal, curry leaves, dry red chilies, green chili and asafetida powder and fry till channa dal turns slightly brown.

5. Add 2 cups of water and salt to the above and once water starts boiling, add coconut and ground rice and stir continuously.

6. When the rice is cooked and water is fully absorbed, the rice/coconut mixture will start to thicken. Turn off heat at this stage.

7. Spread the cooked rice upma on a plate and let it cool for 5 minutes.

8. Grease hands with little oil, take 1/4 cup of rice upma and roll it into a ball. Repeat the same for rest of the upma.

9. Place the upma dumplings on an idli plate or steam bowl and steam cook for 10 minutes.

10. Serve hot with chutney or sambar.


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